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Lead Grants Specialist


UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital is seeking a Full-time Lead Grants Specialist to support the MATRIX: A USAID Project (Hillier) department!

This position will work daylight shifts. Hours are subject to change based on business needs.

This position is grant funded.

The Lead Grants Specialist, MWRIF is a key member of the team that will function as the Manager of Operations, Budget, and Compliance for the MATRIX project funded by USAID. Key responsibilities include overseeing all financial records, budgets, contracts and subcontracts, audits, confidentiality agreements and financial reporting. Applicants must have strong USAID experience. The MATRIX project aims to advance the research and development of innovative HIV prevention projects for women. This collaborative effort will all partners with diverse, complementary, and relevant capabilities to accelerate the research and development of a variety of new HIV prevention products that women can choose to protect themselves and address the continuing and disproportionately high rates of HIV incidence in women, especially in sub-Saharan Africa.

Magee-Womens Research Institute and Foundation (MWRIF) is the largest research institute in the United States focused on women and infants. MWRIF informs women’s health care all over the world through clinical trials and research that focuses on women’s health and reproductive biology.


  • Gather and review information for audit when necessary.
  • Acts as a resource to research investigators and staff on sponsor policies and regulations regarding the administration of award funds and assists in resolutions when necessary.
  • Engage in continuing education activities to expand knowledge and keep current with new trends and policies.
  • Assists the PI in managing the project
  • Develop and implement training tools for USAID-specific requirements
  • Serve on committees engaged to assess procedures and possible changes in the management of the USAID project
  • Remains current and knowledgeable on agency, University, and UPMC procedures and requirements concerning grants management issues.
  • Increase quality of service by finding weaknesses in the operations, share trends and oddities.
  • Responsible for leadership of assigned specialized OGC functions including but not limited to:
    •  Grant closeout process and compliance
    • OGC website content update
    • Effort reporting and certification
    • Early account request processing and procedures
    • Vincent participant payments system procedures
    • Overdraft management and correction
    • Direct supervision of Grants Assistants if required  for the USAID project
  • Pre- Award: Assist principal investigator and/or project administrators with proposal submission and preparation of grant and contract budgets following specific guidelines. Analyze budget justification for accuracy and thoroughness. Process Just In Time (JIT) information requests from sponsoring agency. Coordinate Other Support changes with project.
  • Post- Award: Manages and monitors budget and expenditure activities associated with funded sponsored projects in accordance with MWRIF, University and sponsor regulations. Produces monthly financial reports by grant with projections of expenses using the Departments Financial Software System. Responsible to review and analyze accounts to identify projected balances, potential deficits, potential issues, burn rates, upcoming deadlines, and accurate payroll distribution. Prepares budget adjustments, expense transfers, account forecasting, effort reporting, account closeout, effort distribution, providing sufficient explanations that will meet internal and external audit requirements.
  • Responds to inquiries in a timely manner using effective interpersonal communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills and methods as appropriate to address questions and/or concerns with diverse groups of faculty, staff, and students and staff
  • Works independently and in teams.
  • Responsible for on-going review and analysis of processes and actively contributing to process improvements for the OGC by communicating directly with OGC leadership.
  • Interprets contract and grants requirements and funding agency guidelines.
  • Formally communicates with sponsors, pass-through entities, subrecipients, and various PITT/UPMC staff and departments for report submissions, prior approval requests and amendments/revisions via phone and email.
  • Manages multiple responsibilities and duties with interruptions and unforeseen changes without risking detail and quality of work.
  • Be mentor and provide training to GA and those in the GSI/GSII/GSIII roles.
  • Reviews and updates standardized OGC procedures including monthly expense import and projection process, faculty salary updates, all-personnel reporting, etc. as needed.
  • Assists in the recruitment and trains new team members as needed.
  • Analyzes and reviews research proposals processed through the team for conformity with MWRIF and University policies and compliance with requirements of prospective sponsors.
  • Analyzes and reviews expense reports produced by team members to ensure accuracy and compliance with sponsor regulations, including appropriate distribution of faculty and staff effort, appropriate spending rates and timely correction of projected overdrafts



  • Bachelor's degree, preferably in accounting, finance or related field.
  • Prior experience with USAID required.
  • Five years of professional experience in research or sponsored programs administration.
  • Three years of professional experience in research administration at the Office of Grants and Contracts.
  • CRA certification preferred
  • Prior experience working with Department Manager and Access Databases is required.
  • Excellent computer skills, particularly Microsoft Excel and Word.
  • Knowledge of Uniform Administration Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards and NIH Grants Policy Statement.
  • Knowledge of a dual financial structure for grants management.
  • Maintain cooperative working relationships with the Principle Investigators, sponsors, Institute accounting and administrative offices.
  • Ability to ensure financial and research compliance of financial transaction expended on grants with the terms and conditions of the contract.
  • Must be able to identify problem areas, offer solutions, and implement corrective action.

Licensure, Certifications, and Clearances:

  • Act 34

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. Minority/Females/Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities.

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   Current UPMC employees must apply in HR Direct

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